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I am the GM, and there's a one-shot planned I'll be running. The PC's will explore a villainous lair covered in spiderwebs, which makes it easy to climb - DC's are 5 for walls as 15 for ceilings. This is mostly because the BBEG is a drider sitting on the ceiling, and I want non-reach melee characters to not be completely sidelined/relegated to minion duty.

However, one henchmen follows the general tripping area defender idea, and I need to know what happens if someone on a wall/ceiling successfully gets tripped.

Since I couldn't find any rules about this scenario, I'm currently considering just letting them fall prone right below where they are when tripped (and wouldn't be climbing anymore). Since the ceilings are pretty low (20 feet), I'm also considering just ignoring fall damage.

Are there any rules about this I missed?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/132352/… might be relevant. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28 '21 at 13:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's 3.5, and kind of different. Jumping people will have much more momentum than climbing people. But it still seems to agree with my current inclination. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gloweye
    Oct 28 '21 at 13:52
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Falling is the logical conclusion from the associated rules

A literal interpretation of the Trip CM and Prone Condition suggests that yes, a climbing creature can be Tripped causing them to become prone on the floor under their current space

If your attack exceeds the target’s CMD, the target is knocked prone.

Prone: The character is lying on the ground...

Furthermore, this seems like a logical and fair result of the interaction. However, you may wish to take into account the result of taking damage allows you to make an Athletics check to not fall, although it is not directly related.

Anytime you take damage while climbing, make a Climb check against the DC of the slope or wall. Failure means you fall from your current height and sustain the appropriate falling damage.

Reducing or removing fall damage for the encounter is a reasonable modification, as the GM, if you expect to be knocking a lot of PC's down from the ceiling. Be sure to balance the penalty of losing time fighting on the ceiling and fall damage vs maintaining enough tension for the fight.

Also make sure to go over the particulars of the Climb skill before running an encounter heavy with it, such as the ability for characters to catch themselves (typical DC is 20 over the regular Climb DC, or 10 over on a slope) and that, even with easy Climb DC's, it's nearly impossible to fight in melee while climbing.

You need both hands free to climb, but you may cling to a wall with one hand while you cast a spell or take some other action that requires only one hand.

You may want to provide a scroll of Spider Climb or something similar if you have any PC's that this would cause problems for.


If it helps your consideration, Paizo codified it to be official in Pathfinder's 2nd edition.

If you would be knocked prone while you're Climbing or Flying, you fall (see Falling for the rules on falling). You can't be knocked prone when Swimming.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That Athletics quote doesn't come from a [pathfinder-1e] source - that's still the Climb skill. As for the climbing, I'm giving them a free hand per 5 on their Climb roll over the DC. And keep their Dex if they're 15 over DC. That's a lot of power I'm shipping to the party, but in return they fight a Negative Channling cleric who's on the ceiling healing the undead fighting them on the ground. Under both Unhallow and Desecrate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gloweye
    Oct 28 '21 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Something to note is that they can catch themselves when they fall, as per the climbing skill. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Oct 28 '21 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gloweye all of my quotes are from Archives of Nethys... I may have accidentally pulled P2e. I'll double check... Ah, it's from Unchained Condensed Skills. I'll reevaluate that section, probably just notate it as such \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Oct 28 '21 at 23:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wording is a lot like what I remember from 1e, though, so that sounds feasable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gloweye
    Oct 29 '21 at 6:23

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